Obituary of Josephine O'Connor
Un Ange Passe. Joey was born in the Philippines to Lavern and Vicenta-Abior Jones. She and her sisters were subsequently placed in the Convent School of St. Domitillas by the American Children’s Protective Society. This turned out to be incredibly fortunate, as the Convent was run by Irish Nuns, and when the Japanese invaded the Philippines the girls and the Nuns were provisionally ‘safe’ as Ireland was neutral in WWII. Joey's early life was not easy, yet she had nothing but wonderful stories of her time in the Convent, even with the privation, out and out starvation and illness, no stain of bitterness tainted her recollection of her time with her ‘band of sisters’. The convent was liberated by the US Army, and the GI’s were instructed to not give the girls too much food, it would (and did) make them sick after so much starvation. One gangly red headed Irishman gave Joey a boiled egg… and sealed their fates for a lifetime. When the war was truly over, Bernard Brian O’Connor, forever known as ‘Red’, informed the Mother Superior that he would like to “marry that little ‘twig’ Joey.” This did not sit well in the Convent. She abruptly told him to pack his tent and head back to America, she was barely 16, and once he got home he would forget her. Plainly that was not the case, he did come back. Fast forward, Joey to America, Joey to Brooklyn, NY, Joey to Cold, Snow and a White Christmas, just like the movies! And in a very short period of time, Joey with three little boys. It was serious times for Joey in the mid ’50s; not even thirty with three little boys and suddenly alone. Thank God for one of her best ‘sisters’ from the Convent, Vicky Tolman, to us forever as Aunty Vicky! Aunty Vicky had a tiny little ‘cottage’, cottage might be a little broad and expansive, on the lower Westside of Santa Cruz on Centennial Street. She told Joey to come with the boys and it would work out. This would serve as the most wonderful growing up experience for the boys! Really, it was paradise down there! Not even sidewalks LOL! Aunty Vicky was a Nurse’s Aide at the Old Dominican Hospital on Soquel Ave. She got Joey an interview with a true saint, Sister Noella. Sister Noella ran the Kitchen, this was when it was still called ‘the kitchen’, it had not morphed into ‘Dietary’ yet. Sister Noella immediately loved Joey, eventually loved Joey’s boys, and made sure that even if their mom had to work on a major holiday, they got to come to the kitchen for the incredible meals, desserts made from ‘scratch’ by the true cooks & bakers in those golden times. You never heard, "Ugh, hospital food." By the mid ‘60s the New Dominican Hospital was online and everything changed. The Kitchen was now ‘Dietary’. Sister Noella encouraged Joey to apply for a hospital sponsored course on Surgical Instrument Preparation. Joey excelled in the class and was accepted into the department. Her son believes this was truly the first time she realized she was more than a girl with a Convent High School Education. She was truly proud of herself. By this time her ‘boys’ were not so needy, and ‘boys’ might not be the best descriptor, they could take a modicum of care of themselves. This is NOT to say there were not some bumps in the road, there were, but mostly from their own doing. In the last decade or so, Joey had been a guest at Sunshine Villa, she LOVED it… she was a social butterfly, and the Villa let her spread her wings! Her sons are eternally grateful the care she received there. As of late, Joey had been hanging with her ‘homies’ at Elder-Day. She equally loved it, loved the staff, the pals at her table and the drivers. She loved how the staff greeted the buses and made her feel like SHE was Queen of the Prom, and nothing could start til she arrived! Eternal thanks to the staff of Elder-Day. Joey was fun, Joey loved a good time, Joey loved a party and was a great cook! Joey thought that, “Taco Bell is just fine for lunch!” Joey had a heart of gold, and spent it generously and well. Joey is pre-deceased by her Red Rogue husband, Bernard/Brian O’Connor; her beloved son, Michael; equally beloved sister, Ida, who I am confident greeted her with a Coors Lite; as well as Aunty Vicky Tolman and Aunty Mary Adams-Klingler. She is survived by her sons, Brian and Kevin, as well as the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Michael and Kevin; the loving Wilson Family nephews and nieces, the Klingler-Hampton Family and the Klingler-Prescotts; her Godson, Joe Klingler; and her ‘last’ sisters from the convent school, Aunty Bobby Poole and Aunty Mac Rausch. Joey loved to sing, “The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie” before she went to bed, and the sun will always come up for Joey. Due to current health concerns regarding gatherings, a Memorial Ceremony for Joey will be scheduled in the late Spring. An announcement will be made when dates are available.
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